SINGAPORE - A medical doctor and former motoring writer was fined $3,000 on Tuesday (Jan 12) for making a fraudulent declaration when trying to renew his practising certificate.
Winston Lee Siew Boon, 72, admitted to declaring in writing to the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) on July 23, 2013, that he had not been the subject of an inquiry or of any police probe since his last declaration.
He knew this to be false as he was being investigated for molesting a then 34-year-old female patient on two occasions at his Thong Hoe Clinic in Bukit Batok Street 11, in June and October 2011.
He was convicted after a seven-day trial of touching the breast of the sales representative in March 2014, and sentenced to 10 months' jail in May that year.
He appealed and lost.
He began his sentence last Monday (Jan 4) after the Court of Appeal turned down his bid last November to get the judges to relook his conviction through a procedure known as criminal reference.
In Tuesday's case, the court heard that Lee was called up by the police for investigation relating into the outrage of modesty allegation in November 2011. He was arrested in April 2013, released on bail and charged in court.
Ministry of Health prosecutor Andre Moses Tan said that the SMC received Lee's application for renewal of practising certificate in July 2013. The certificate was due to expire in December the same year.
He ticked the "No'' box to the question if he had been convicted or been the subject of an inquiry or of an investigation by any professional body, licensing health authority or the police which may form the basis of professional misconduct or amount to improper conduct which may bring disrepute to the medical profession.
Lee's lawyer Charles Lin said his client had firmly believed in his innocence since criminal investigation started. Representations had been made to the Attorney-General' s Chambers and Lee had also believed that offences could be compounded and the investigations would end there.
Mr Lin said his client is a very good doctor, and had an unblemished record of practice for the past 40 years caring for over 70,000 patients.
He read out a number of testimonials from Lee's patients and fellow colleagues. They described the veteran family physician as "kind-hearted and sincere'', respected, diligent and caring, "quiet, timid and soft spoken''.
Lee, who will face separate SMC proceedings, could have been fined up to $10,000 and jailed for up to two years under the Medical Registration Act.